Murder Inc. Bookkeeper Cynthia Brent was arrested and indicted
Monday (November 8) on money laundering charges, as federal prosecutors continue
their investigation into a connection between the rap label and drug dealers.
Brent, 39, was
charged with laundering over $1 million in drug money and arranging cash deposits
to evade federal filing laws, officials said.
Brent pleaded not
guilty at an arraignment Monday and was released on $200,000 bond.
rapper Ja Rule and Murder Inc. head Irv Gotti confirmed their affiliation with
Queens crack kingpin Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff to the Associated Press,
but dismissed the grounds of the federal investigation.
and to know that this [stuff] is bogus, you really start to think," said
Ja. "This is how they can stop these black companies from making money...put
an investigation on them."
After being released
from prison years ago, McGriff hooked up with Gotti to help produce a straight-to-video
film, “Crime Partners 2000,” featuring Ja-Rule, Snoop Dogg and Ice-T.
to confiscate the film proceeds last year, alleging that it was financed with
drug money. Officials are attempting to link McGriff, currently in prison on
gun charges, to at least one drug-related murder.
As a result of
the federal case, Murder Inc., whose roster includes Charli Baltimore and platinum-selling
artist Ashanti, changed its name to The Inc. earlier this year.
Ja Rule's album
R.U.L.E. is due out in stores today (November 9).